Devils lose fourth game in a row, fall to Kings 3-2 in shootout

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The Hockey News

The Hockey News

Michael Cammalleri and Lubomir Visnovsky scored during regulation, and the Kings got shootout goals from Anze Kopitar and Alexander Frolov to beat the New Jersey Devils 3-2 on Monday night. Los Angeles was 1-for-6 on the power play against a team that came in averaging a league-low 11.1 penalty minutes.

The Kings have had the man advantage a league-leading 157 times this season and have converted on 27 occasions. The Devils have been short-handed a league-low 81 times and have allowed 11 power-play goals.

"The coaches brought that up tonight and made it known to us that we were going to have to work extra hard to draw penalties," Cammalleri said. "I think that by getting the puck down low behind their defencemen, moving our feet and making them work hard to not give us scoring chances, that's how you force teams to take penalties."

Brian Gionta and Travis Zajac scored during New Jersey's first two power plays, but it wasn't enough as the Devils ended a five-game road trip with their fourth straight defeat - matching their longest losing streak of last season.

"They definitely were able to pick us apart in certain areas of our game," said Devils goaltender Martin Brodeur, who made 26 saves. "They got some pucks to me, got some guys crashing to the net and had a couple of screens in front of me. A couple of them they got a little lucky on, but you've got to give them credit. They played well. We scored a couple of power-play goals, but when it was 5-on-5 we didn't do the job."

The Kings, coming off a 3-1 victory over Calgary on Saturday, have won consecutive games for the first time since beating St. Louis and the New York Islanders last month.

"When you play good against a good team, you feel comfortable on the ice and you believe in yourselves," Frolov said. "We just have to keep doing the right things as a team and not make any stupid mistakes defensively."

Mathieu Garon made it possible for the Kings to get to overtime, kicking out a last-second shot from the high slot by Brian Rafalski for his 20th save after Scott Gomez passed the puck from behind the net.

Brodeur made an even better save 25 seconds into the extra session, sprawling to his right to thwart Dustin Brown after a perfect centring pass through the crease from Kopitar.

Kings forward Brian Willsie, who had only 14 penalty minutes in the Kings' first 25 games, was in the penalty box for both Devils goals.

New Jersey began the second period with a full power play and needed only 16 seconds to take advantage. Gionta, who hit the left post about two minutes into the game, opened the scoring with a wrist shot past Garon's glove.

Willsie was off for slashing when Garon stopped a one-timer by Rafalski, but Zajac flicked the rebound into a wide-open net for a 2-1 lead at 13:56 of the second.

Cammalleri tied it exactly four minutes later, using defenceman Colin White as a screen and beating Brodeur high to the stick side with a slap shot from the top of the right circle while Jamie Langenbrunner was off for hooking. It was the 100th NHL point for Cammalleri, who has scored eight of his nine goals this season at home.

"Whitey was just on no-man's land there," Brodeur said. "That's a tough play. A lot of teams are using that play against us and we're trying to work on it as much as he can. Whitey just got himself on the wrong side of Cammalleri and he screened me just enough. But you've got to give him credit. When you pump the water bottle from out there, it's a good shot."

Notes: The Devils haven't lost more than four in a row since a six-game skid in November 2000. ... New Jersey has scored more than three goals only once in their last 20 games. ... Kings D Oleg Tverdovsky, who helped the Devils win a Stanley Cup in 2003, missed his sixth straight game because of a groin strain. His next game will be his 700th in the NHL. ... Kopitar assisted on Cammalleri's goal for his 23rd point, the most among NHL rookies. ... Devils C Jim Dowd played in his 600th NHL game. ... New Jersey has allowed more than three goals only twice in 14 games, a stretch that began with consecutive shutouts by Brodeur against Florida and Columbus. ... Brodeur has not allowed more than three goals in 11 consecutive starts.